Goodreads Synopsis: It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.
Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.
When I started this book I was really afraid that it would suffer from second book syndrome, luckily it did not!
A Gathering of Shadows picks up just a few months from where A Darker Shade of Magic left off. Kel is struggling with life and Lila is off having adventures in a pirate ship. The story switches between both their point of views, just like the first book does. For the most part these were consistent, enough that it didn’t bug me too much. I was so caught up in the story that after awhile I didn’t even notice.
Schwab’s writing is fantastic as per usual. It’s amazing how well this world comes to life, I really felt like I could see and hear all the different places. This is what I love so much about all of Schwab’s work.
I found that I enjoyed all of the characters much more in this book than I did in the first. Delilah was less annoying and more understandable. Kel, despite his angst, was a lovable character. Partly I think because Rhy was such a big character in this book, I loved seeing his interaction with Kel and how much the two of them cared for each other. Rhy was definitely my favorite character, especially since he’s bisexual.
The plot was really fast, despite this book being so long. There was one time when I thought I’d called a twist, but it didn’t go down the way I thought and it was awesome. There are so many great plot twists close to the end of this book, and it made me very happy.
In the end I gave this book 4 stars and I can’t wait to read the third book!